Sunday, January 06, 2008

5 Reasons Why LSU Beat Ohio State

It was a close game, for about 1 quarter, but LSU made more plays than Ohio State. Check the top 5 reasons why LSU beat the Buckeyes.

1. TEAM SPEED SHMEED: "You can't tell me it's a speed thing; I'm stubborn about that," OSU linebacker James Laurinaitis said. "If it was a speed thing we would have been getting caught from behind. They out-physicaled us and that's why we lost the game." I agree totally, there was no difference in team speed. LB James Laurinaitis, DE Vernon Gholston and CB Malcolm Jenkins for the Buckeyes were just as fast as Jacob Hester, Early Doucet and Brandon LaFell. But at the skill positions, (Hartline?) LSU had a fiesty, violent edge. It's not just speed, it's violent speed. That running-at-you-at-full-tilt-to-hit-you-in-the-mouth speed, that's what LSU had. The Big Ten, certainly the elite programs like OSU and Michigan, have more than a little bit of the same speed that dominates the SEC (Did you see what Michigan did the Florida?). Ohio State has learned its lesson from last year and will try to spread LSU out, and not let them pursue plays from in front of them. OSU has been practicing the fame "Tiger Drill" to prepare for the tiring ordeal the game will become in the 4th quarter. Boeckman does have two athletic, speedy wideouts in Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline who have great hands and know how to get open.

2. QUARTERBACK PLAY (OR LACK OF): Todd Boeckman is a big, lanky quarterback at 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, but hew wasn't nearly mobile enough to withstand the athletic heat that LSU put on him. By the time LSU's Ali Highsmith clotheslined Boeckman and the ball squirted out the rout was on. Boeckman joins a distinguished list of quarterbacks, Sean Glennon, Tim Tebow, John Parker Wilson, that have been hit really hard by the Purple and Gold defensive line. Flynn, who didn't play in the SEC Championship Game because of a strained shoulder, completed 19 of 27 passes for 174 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.

3. BUCKEYES DEFENSE DIDN'T SHOW UP: The Buckeyes were No. 1 in the nation against the pass with 148.17 yards allowed, but Flynn carved them up for 4 touchdowns and 174 pretty much in 2 quarters (2nd & 3rd) with an assortment of awkward throws and laser-sharp daggers. The OSU defense seemingly was content to let him throw, playing the run more heavily than it should. As good as the Buckeyes front four is, the LSU secondary, even without All-American safety Craig Steltz (stinger) made its presence felt to turn the game around, especially when Harry Coleman blitzed and hit Boeckman, forcing him to underthrow a pass down the left sideline. Cornerback Chevis Jackson intercepted the pass and returned it 34 yards to the Ohio State 24, and the Tigers were in business.

4. HOMEFIELD ADVANTAGE: To say the scales were tipped in LSU's favor is an understatement. The LSU campus is only 80 miles away in Baton Rouge. "We know the dome," LSU running back Jacob Hester said. "We're in the same hotel. We know the city. Half the team is from New Orleans, and the other half has been here so many times they know where everything is." The crowd was loud a(but curiously quiet after Beanie Wells' touchdown run). OSU just couldn't keep the hush in effect as their lead turned into a deficit as the Tigers reeled off 31 straight points.

5. BUCKEYES OFFENSE DIDN'T HAVE CONSISTENCY: A comedy of weird errors by the Buckeyes, including five personal fouls and three turnovers, enabled LSU to erase a 10-0 deficit and roll to a 31-17 lead before a garbage TD made the score look respectable. The Buckeyes were'nt able to establish consistency: OSU's Chris "Beanie Wells turned in the half of a lifetime after he steam 64 yards up LSU's gut on the game's second play from scrimmage. The problem was, sooner or later, OSU had to pass the ball. LSU, an absurdly deep team, had the consistency it usually had all season: start off slow, take a blow then release a barrage of players and formations at the oppenent to shatter their will. They have six running backs, two quarterbacks and defensive playmakers waiting in the wings. LSU had been especially adept at

murdering quarterbacks
and it happened Monday night all over again.

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